Dream Killers (Not Catchers)

Today I am dressed like a gay man fashionista and sitting at a Brooklyn cafe, I feel really at home. I thought in New York I would be consumed with the desire to be a culture snob, but instead I feel repulsed, and have decided to chill the fuck out in the realm of pop culture. Also, because the gallery I intern in shares a building with the offices of places like Calvin Klein and Jimmy Choo, every time I get in the elevator I must face the eating-order induced size zero rich bitches with their very expensive clothing. Instead of sucking in I try and be as in-the-way as possible, sticking my butt out and pushing them into the corners. This is kind of a lie, regardless this proves that I may not be a music snob but I am most certainly a cynic. At least I am confirming how strongly I identify with my frumpy-casual West Coast roots, and realize anorexia is not the route for me (I KNOW a lot of these girls don’t actually have eating disorders but occasionally those of us who aren’t in that sizing range just need to make some harsh assumptions to make ourselves feel better). Speaking of West Coast roots, my friend got Lily and I jobs for the Mushroom Man at Farmer’s Markets around the city. This is great because we have no money and cannot keep up with the lifestyles of East Coast money bags.

Our life in Brooklyn is charming, we live in a great area with two cats (who we have a love/hate relationship with). For instance, yesterday, Calipso-Crouton (we added on the Crouton name) was trying to escape while I was leaving for work. This was the one morning when Lily didn’t leave the same time as me. C-C bolted and I dropped my stuff to grab her, door closed behind me. As I stood staring at the door with a cat in my arms, I just started pushing on the door in hopes of it opening. I let myself panic for a minute and then just started knocking on doors with C-C gripping and scratching my neck. Eventually everything worked out with the help of an older woman and her very dusty apartment, the liquor store downstairs and the cafe across the street (also my mother had to be my sounding board). Internships are killing our dreams also, more so last week than this week. It is really difficult working for someone else’s vision, and when the work you are doing is spreadsheets. This is more at the gallery than my other internship. I like my other one because I work from home and can sleep in and hang out in cafes.

I joined a dating site (I forced Lily to also) and am going on a date tonight. I already went on one which was kind of a bust but I keep getting this intense pre-date dread, where I decide I hate the guy already even though I messaged him first. Lily is talking me down now, and we are getting drinks. I need to chill out.

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Pubic House

I think I imagined landing in JFK and seeing beautiful anorexic models with clothes that I could never dream of owning. Instead, you just see middle America. Gathered at New York airports are exhausted families and the sweaty, morbidly obese (I was also sweaty). It is like every other airport in America! Also, I saw so many people with the worst shirts on. One girl wore a shirt which stated “Anything your girl can do, I can do better.” A boy, maybe 18, had a shirt which asked,”Drunk? Blow Here” and then there was a HUGE arrow pointing down towards his crotch. They both gave me looks like, yeah, you are looking at me. And I was like, NO I am looking at your disgusting shirt and wondering why you are wearing it. I really hope that boy is cursed with a life of celibacy for wearing that shirt. BUT THAT DON’T MATTER BECAUSE I AM IN NYC. Yeah, I moved. And yeah, I have a purpose for being in NY because I have an internship. This is exciting.

I wrote that a week ago, but have started to settle into NYC. Or by that I mean sitting and staring at all of the people around me. There are so many people, and big buildings. Staying in Manhattan the first few nights made me realize how insignificant you feel in a city like NY. I think that is true in any big city. It’s also really nice being anonymous. My anonymity also proved to be very apparent when we went out last night. I would have preferred to creep around in Williamsburg hipsta bars, but we decided to meet up with my friend at a place that served cheap pitchers and FREE hot dogs. After Lily relentlessly got guys to hit on us (and she was sober, I am in awe of her abilities) we decided to leave and go to some bar that her BU friends were at. How do I describe feeling out of place? I wasn’t flashing my vagina and didn’t have Daddy’s credit card. Not that this described her friends, but everyone else were clones of each other. Let me describe. Male: 6ft+, Ralph Lauren Oxford, “Chest Hair” exposed, Beer in one hand-Muscle Milk in the Other. Female: Vagina, Anorexia, DRUNK, A lot of hair touching.  I don’t even mean to be cynical, I am literally just describing exactly what it was like. That was kind of a first realization of the difference between the East and the West. Also, this place was called Public House but I called it Pubic House because there was a lot of pubic bone grinding.

Beyond that trauma, Lily and I have been enjoying the Brooklyn cat-sitting life. Actually, the cats keep us up all night. We have renamed them Frem-Frum and Crouton because I can’t remember their names. We accidentally got home at 5AM this morning, and the cats slept on our heads. Before experiencing Manhattan at night, we sat out on our fire escape and ate mangoes. We are trying to get jobs with the milk man at the Farmer’s Market. Shameless networking.

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Jane, We’re In Argentina

Claire often liked to remind me that we were in Argentina. It was her way of remarking on our journey. I made it clear I did not like it, but she kept saying it. But really guys, we were in Argentina:

Mops

20. Hour. Bus. Ride.

Nahuel Huapi Lake (Bariloche)

I love hiking

Hike imagery

El Bolson

They gave us pity champagne on the 30-hour bus ride

Morning after a night on a bus

Juan

Scary videographer at the party

The Bar Mitzvah boy

Free Wigs!

Claire pretends to have long hair!

We got stuck in Dallas, dirty blankets and used cots from the night before

 Claire, We’re in the United States…it just doesn’t sound as good

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My Super Sweet Jewish Coming of Age Ceremony

I kind of neglected the Argentine blog, but only because Claire and I were really busy. I think I stopped writing in El Bolson (a hippy town in the mountains). We stayed in a great hostel and made fweinds! We also went on a hike which was really long and almost ended in a fight because Claire and I reverted back to our old ways of interacting with each other. Typical! Claire tried to take us back on the unconventional route, but quickly lost confident due to her indecisiveness. I was tired and crabby, and don’t really like hikes that extend over 4 hours (we had hit the fourth hour). We quickly got over it and I took pictures of Claire peeing in the woods as payback.

Then we took another 20-hour bus ride. Well, it was supposed to be 20-hours. Argentine’s like to protest, and they decided to do so in the middle of the country. This lead us to be on an almost 30-hour bus ride.  The man behind me snored so loud, and the DVD player wasn’t working. Pretty bad. But now I can say I spent two days of my life on a bus….

Then we arrived back in BA and were really happy. We stayed in a disgusting hostel, with tampons and dirty underwear littering the bathroom floor. Claire and I aren’t that particular, but WE HAVE STANDARDS. They asked us to write a good review because we lied and said we were going to stay with our relatives. We moved to another, way better hostel. Except the first night we had to share a room with four boys. One was an American, who used to work in Finance but then quit to be free in Argentina. He was nice, but then I was talking to him about how it must of been nice to have gotten and job and to have made money after graduating and he was like, “Nah bro, but the money isn’t important.” True, broish San Jose bro. But also money is really nice. Anyways, the other three boys were punk anarchists from Cordoba. I can’t remember all of their names, except for Juan. Juan was the 18 year-old brother of the drummer in an anarchist punk band. Juan was very drunk. Juan kept touching my thigh as we drank beer on the rooftop of our hostel. I kept saying, “Juan, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” Claire and I decided to go to bed. Juan followed shortly after. We brushed our teeth together in the en suite bathroom. Juan answered some phone calls very loudly even though everyone in our room was sleeping. Juan “lost” something on the floor by my bed. I told Juan to shut up. Juan gets into bed with me. I push Juan onto the floor. I kind of spent the rest of the night facing towards the middle of the room with one eye open. Juan was harmless, but he was stupid.

Then the Bar Mitzvah festivities began, and Claire and I were reminded of our anxiety. The service was really sweet and reminiscent of our own Bat Mitzvahs, except SOMEONE’S father’s cell phone didn’t go off during the torah portion. Mine and Claire’s Bat Mitzvahs were also slightly traumatizing because we cried through pretty much the whole thing because our parents cried through the whole thing (we are emotional). But then there was the party. It was like the show “My Super Sweet Sixteen” on MTV. It was like this cracked out club for Jews with so much food, and so much dancing, and so much of everything. So first we ate appetizers. Then we were called to the dance floor. Professional pictures had been taken of our cousin, Mati, and were placed all over the tables. They did skits, they did short movies, they did everything. Pictures help to encompass the experience. It went from 7PM-4AM.

Then we slept all day, spent time with the relatives, ate really good asado, and packed for home. I really miss Argentina and my sister. We discovered Claire’s alter ego named Ruth, and mine is Evil Susie. Now we talk to each other like we are children. It’s great. My goal the entire trip was for Claire be more of a crack baby with me. She did it a few times and they were the best times. But now, the US. NYC!

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The Bachelor

Our relative in Bariloche is a 40-something single male with three kids. He lives in a bachelor pad near the city center. We slept in his bed which smelled like too much Jersey shore cologne (my hair still smells like it). Last night, as mentioned, he planned a night of “bailando” for Claire and I. At dinner, Claire translated that he said he would drop us off at “the discotheque.” We decided to take a power nap before we left, and as we laid our heads on the pillows, Claire revealed something terrifying.
C: “I think he might be coming to the club with us.”
J: “What? No…”
We decided we would wait and see what would happen, in denial of the impending doom. Earlier that day via Skype our mother revealed to us that he had a philandering reputation amongst the family. This only led us to feel more nervous. After waking up and me throwing a fit about having to go out, we finished getting ready and told him. Moment of truth.
Relative: “Great. I just need to change.”
Claire and I stared at each other in disbelief. To make things worse he informed us that he would be picking up an Amiga. That is a girl. WAS THIS ALSO A DATE? WHY YES, IT WAS. Horrified as we sat in the back seat like children, we got the date and headed to the club.

Upon entering Claire and I ran away as fast as we could. I started binge drinking and encouraged Claire to do the same. The whole night was then spent ducking and running from the looming middle-agers. When we decided to go home they were waiting at the door to take us home. Thanks parents! We were then DROPPED OFF and did not see the relative until the next morning.

This was supposed to be funny but I am suffering from PTSD and it is difficult to relive the trauma. We have escaped the overprotective grasps of the family (the bachelor insisted on driving us to our hostel and left his phone number with the receptionist in case there was trouble) and are settled in the hippie mountain town of El Bolson. FREEDOM.

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WWSD?

Last summer we went on a roadtrip across the United States. We started on the East Coast and traveled to the West for six weeks in a 2002 Mercury Sable named Mammy. It was probably the most fun Claire and I have ever had together. We went with two other sisters, Emma and Abby Siemaskos, and we were the sets of sisters (The Siemaskos were by far more down to get really drunk and do things). Crazy shit went down on that trip that I will not say because my parents got the shortened and clean version when we returned home. For the last 5 days in Argentina, we have gotten weird looks from our relatives because we havent gone out yet (I know it is horrible). That is why, tonight, as our middle aged male relative plans a night out “bailando”, Claire and I must ask ourselves “What Would The Siemaskos Do?”

We are hoping by saying this enough times, we will get inspired to get dressed in cute clothes, put on some makeup, and drink some beer. I am a sorority girl and find that I can barely rally to get my ass out of the bed. Claire is trying to get me excited, even though I know she just wants to prove to our relatives that her haircut doesnt make her a lesbian or lame.

We have been feeling the pressure to impress our relatives ever since we have arrived. Will we succeed this evening? Maybe. Meanwhile I am eating sugar to sustain any sense of energy and spiraling into a deep cycle of cookie crash-and-burn.

Other than this, Bariloche is beautiful and we survived the 20-hour bus ride. Our supply of ambien did not become obsolete as anticipated, and we are enjoying the mountains. Que lindo. I would put up pictures but I didnt bring my camera cord. Also a lot of the pictures I have taken have been of Claire and I looking tired and confused. WE ARE HAVING FUN. I SWEAR. We just talk about our culture shock for most of the day while enjoying the world. We are lucky, and we have not forgotten it.

SIEMASKOS: WE MISS YOU. Also, remember the club in Mississippi where the old men started handing us twenty dollar bills to buy drinks, and danced slowly with us to blues music?

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Rationing Ambien

WE ARE GOING ON A 20-HOUR BUS RIDE TOMORROW. THIS CALLS FOR A SERIOUS RATIONING OF SLEEP TRANQUILIZERS. I EXPECT A “LORD OF THE FLIES” SITUATION IF WE RUN OUT. KEEP US IN YOUR PRAYERS.

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